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EURO 2020 review: Turkey

Turkey's campaign ended with three defeats, but our team reporter Görkem Kırgız says the experience could yet help their youthful squad.

Defender Mert Müldür takes stock following Turkey's exit
Defender Mert Müldür takes stock following Turkey's exit POOL/AFP via Getty Images

It will be stating the obvious, but the whole campaign was a big disappointment for Turkey. The team that many people (including me) described as the tournament's 'dark horses' have left with zero points and a goal difference of minus seven. Their brightest moment was scoring their only goal, against Switzerland.

What were the positives?

The biggest net gain for Turkey is this: experience. One of the youngest squads at UEFA EURO 2020 did not perform well, obviously, but it's important to sample such big events and get used to how it feels to be there. And you have to experience how losing feels if you want to become a winner.

Skill of the Day: Yusuf Yazıcı (Turkey)
Skill of the Day: Yusuf Yazıcı (Turkey)

Tournament highlight

Being there in Rome for the magical opening night. I had the chance to experience all the joy live, which was my childhood dream. I had the privilege of being part of the EURO, and I had the honour of following my nation's team. Every second was a highlight for me.

What the future holds

Regardless of the disappointment, Turkey have a bright future with this young and talented group of players. The unpleasant results will give them a better understanding of what it takes to battle on the biggest stage. They will be back much stronger, I have no doubt.

Predictions for the rest of EURO 2020

There are scarily good teams at EURO 2020. And, so far, I think we've all realised that any match can go either way. I will probably be biting my fingernails while watching the final games in Group F. But the Azzurri are something else, in my opinion. I am plumping for an Italy victory.

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